Sunday, May 9, 2010

Positive Discipline Tool Card - Show Faith

When we show faith in our children they develop courage and faith in themselves.

1) Instead of rescuing, lecturing, or fixing, say, “I have faith in you to handle this.”
2) Children develop their problem-solving skills and disappointment muscles through experiences.
3) Validate feelings: “I know you are upset. I would be too. And, I have faith in you.”

This Positive Discipline Tool Card talks about showing faith in our children so they can develop courage and faith in themselves. But I think this tool card will do a lot more to help parents develop courage and faith. Let's face it...having faith in our children takes A LOT of courage. How many times do we jump in and rescue our children because we know they are about to struggle, only to see that deflated look on their face. We as parents are expecting gratitude for our benevolence, and yet we have only succeeded in crushing the self-esteem of our children.

Having faith in our children is only the beginning. Will we also have the courage to keep our mouths shut and allow our children to experience the consequences of their actions? Will we allow them to discover a solution on their own? Or will we "should" all over them and make them feel incompetent?

This is not an easy parenting skill to master. It is a good follow-up to the Curiosity Questions tool card because asking curiosity questions is a great way to help our children discover their own capabilities. The biggest deterrence for parents is that we love convenience and efficiency. Showing faith in our children can be messy and very inconvenient. But remember, we are focusing on long-range results.


Karen said...

Or will we "should" all over them and make them feel incompetent?

Wow, what a great line that is!

I'm looking forward to focusing on this card this week and I'd love to hear examples from other people.

Anonymous said...

This goes a long with putting kids in the same boat. The other day I hear two of my children screaming/fighting. Instead of yelling at them I peeked around the corner. My oldest scratched the middle one and was then telling him he was sorry and giving him a hug. I had faith (not really, I was more curious to see what they would do with out me saying anything) that they could work this out on their own and they did. I still don't know why he got scratched, but my oldest was fixing his mistake and I didn't have to say a word. We are all happier too. Another example for younger kids is getting themselves dressed instead of you doing it. The main point is don't do anything for your child that they can do for themselves.

Karen said...

It's so true how these cards build on each other.

My daughter's comments have become pretty predictable regarding the cards. Her take has been that she would RATHER be told what to do, RATHER have punishments and rewards etc. During our discussions, she is starting to come to the conclusion herself, that it may be EASIER for her to have things dealt with that way (the old way!), but in the long run, it's not what she would really want.

After thinking a bit, she came up with the conclusion that showing faith is good but that if she has already had the chance to figure something out and still needs help and asks for it, then it would be okay for us to become involved. When I asked how she would want us involved, you guessed it, she said CURIOSITY QUESTIONS!!!

I'm so encouraged by the way our relationship is growing and improving. I received the most thoughtful Mother's Day card yesterday - a handmade card with all the things she appreciates about our relationship....we have come a long way!